Aurangabad, also known as the 'city of gates', is witnessing a sales surge of western designer skull caps during the holy month of Ramadan and are attracting the buyers because of their fine quality and attractive patterns.
Skull caps are being imported from China, Indonesia, Turkey, Sudan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The tradition of wearing the skull caps dates back to the Mughal era as the Emperor Aurangzeb, who hand-stitched the cap, introduced it to the
Muslims in India.
White, multicoloured, crocheted and embroidered skull caps are popular among Muslims across the globe.
Qaiser Iqbal Siddiqui, a shopkeeper, said that sales of designer caps has widely picked up across the city with the onset of Ramadan.
"In the month of holy Ramadan the skull caps are imported from various countries because there is a surge in its selling. They are exported from
Turkey, Sudan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Pakistan to Mumbai and then they are distributed to the rest of the country. People during the holy month of Ramadan do not stop buying even the costliest caps available with us and wear them with fervour," said Siddiqui.
The prices of skull caps range from Rupees 10 to 500, depending upon the designs and material used in their making.
Muslim buyers usually prefer those skull caps that fit comfortably, as they have to wear them for long hours during Ramadan.
"In the month of Ramadan people usually prefer to cover their head 24 hours with a skull cap and they also look in the comfort and which will fit them nicely," said a customer, Shaikh Imran.
Seller said nowadays contemporary designs are in vogue and are preferred by college going students.
"A variety of skull caps are available in the markets these days. Skull caps from Turkey, Indonesia, China, skull caps made of foam, Afghani skull caps and various other varieties are available which are in demand. College going students like to wear designed or fancy skull caps and are selling all over the place," said a shopkeeper, Shahzad Khan.
Ramadan is the ninth of 12 months in the Islamic calendar. The month honours the Angel Gabriel's revelation of the Koran, the holy scripture of Islam, to the Prophet Mohammed at a meditation retreat in a cave about 1,400 years ago.
Fasting, charity, daily prayers, the declaration of faith and pilgrimage to Mecca are the five pillars of Islam.
Ramadan lasts for 29 or 30 days and culminates in the Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations, tens of millions across the Muslim world make every effort to be more spiritual and charitable.
Muslims abstain from food, drink and other pleasures from sunrise to sunset. For believers, Ramadan is meant to be a time of reflection and worship, remembering the hardships of others and being charitable.